Every month we ask an Istanbul local the same ten questions.
This way you can hear firsthand what they love and hate about the city, and learn about the best places to wine, dine and shop in town.
Today Anıl Dundar, aged between 26-35 and active as a desk clerk, shares his Istanbul secrets.
1. Where do you live, and what makes your neighborhood special?
I live in Şişli. There are lots of companies and shops in my neighborhood.
2. What does a perfect day in Istanbul look like for you?
First, wake up early and go to the Arnavutköy, Bebek, Ortaköy or Emirgan for a delicious Turkish breakfast with an amazing Bosphorus view. After that, I have a walk along the Bosphorus, and maybe try to catch some fish. It is very enjoyable. To complete the day, I visit the old places of Istanbul.
3. Where would you take first time Istanbul visitors to?
First of all, I would take them to the Galata Tower. Its 360 view of the city is ideal to explain all the different areas and points of interest. After my visitors have a nice overview, I take them to the places I explained.
4. Do you have any shopping preferences and/or secrets?
There are lots of shopping malls in Istanbul. In my opinion, the best one is Istinye Park, followed by Kanyon. Of course there also is the most famous street of Istanbul, Istiklal Caddesi. But the best boutique shopping area is Nişantaşı with a lot of Turkish designer shops.
5. What is according to you the best souvenir people should take back home?
If I come to Istanbul for a few days and have a taste of Turkish coffee, I would absolutely take the coffee and a nice set of cups back home.
6. What is your favorite restaurant, and why?
My favorite restaurant is on the Asian side. It’s a bit farther from the city center which makes transportation a bit more difficult. The restaurant is called Güverte in Anadolu Hisarı (the fortress on the Asian side). Why? The atmosphere is amazing, the fish and the mezes are delicious. And, for a change, you get to gaze over the Bosphorus at the European side beyond the second bridge.
7. What Turkish dish should visitors really try out?
You should try to eat all of the mezes with rakı.
8. What is your favorite drink, and the best place to order it?
My favorite drink is rakı. You can drink it with starters, main dishes, fruit, desert, dried nuts, etc. You should also try a drink called Eraser Head. It’s a mix of 13 or 14 different kinds of alcohol and some apple juice — a perfect mix. You can find it in any of the Midpoint restaurants.
9. What is your favorite bar or night club?
My favorite bar is Mikla. Actually, Mikla is a restaurant on the top of the Marmara Pera hotel in Beyoğlu. They have a roof bar on the top of the place from where you can see most of the Bosphorus. I also love Anjelique in Ortaköy.
10. What do you love and/or hate about Istanbul?
It is impossible to hate Istanbul.